Derby County midfielder Bradley Johnson will be looking to return to the Derby squad, when they take on Middlesbrough on New Year’s Day.
Despite having served his five-match ban, Johnson wasn’t in the Derby squad who took on Norwich City on Saturday. However, with two games in four days, Johnson will hope that Rams manager, Frank Lampard, gives him the nod.
Both Tom Huddlestone and Craig Bryson are in contention to make the starting XI on Tuesday, with the pair dropped to the bench against Norwich City. Former Boro striker David Nugent is also expected to feature.
Middlesbrough defender Ryan Shotton, who has recovered from the knee injury which kept him out of Boro’s past two games in the Championship, is also fighting for a starting place in Boro’s line up.
One Boro player who has already been sidelined for this game is striker Rudy Gestede, as the former Aston Villa man remains out with a hamstring problem.
New Boro signing Rajiv Van La Parra misses out today, as he is not eligible for the game due to registration deadlines.
In their last five games against Middlesbrough, Derby have only won one, a 3-0 win in 2017, drawing two and losing five games in the process.
Also, while both the sides drew their reverse fixture this season, they haven’t shared spoils in both league games in the same season since 1903/04 season.
Of the four times that Tony Pulis has met Derby County, the Boro manager has won three of those games, with his only defeat at the hands of the Rams coming back in 2016 when Pulis was the manager of Plymouth Argyle.
Yet another stat which should give Boro the confidence going into this fixture is their recent form in the month of January. They have won six of their last 9 games in all competitions in January while conceding only three goals in the process.